An inquest into the deaths of four people who died at Dreamworld will begin this week.The long-awaited inquest into the deaths of four people killed in the Dreamworld ride disaster could start in June or July.
It will examine the circumstances around the October 2016 malfunction of the Thunder River Rapids ride that caused the deaths of Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi, and Cindy Low.
The Brisbane Coroners Court on heard on Tuesday the theme park visitors had boarded raft five on the ride, which had been designed for families with children and had been a key attraction at the park since December 1986.
It was meant to give groups of six people a moderate thrill as it travelled through a watercourse, in an ostensibly safer simulation of white water rafting.
Raft five’s journey was without incident until it reached the end, where it was collected by a conveyor belt.
Fifteen seconds before, one of the two large pumps that kept the ride going failed and cause water levels to drop.
Raft five continued along the conveyor and collided with another raft before it was lifted and pulled vertically into the conveyor mechanism.
Ms Goodchild, Mr Dorsett, Mr Araghi and Ms Low were caught in the mechanism of the ride and were either trapped or thrown into the water.
“Each died almost instantly as a result of compressive and crushing injuries,” counsel assisting the coroner Ken Fleming QC said.
Also aboard were Ms Goodchild’s 12-year-old daughter Ebony and Ms Low’s 10-year-old son, who survived.
Two Dreamworld staff who were operating the ride, as well as nearby patrons, went to help and called emergency services and the park’s safety officers.
Ms Low’s family is hoping for answers from the inquest and that it will prevent others from suffering “such enormous heartbreak”.
“Our lives were turned upside down that day by the loss of Cindy, we have spent each week and month comforting each other and learning how to live without her,” the family said in a statement.
Following the tragedy, police and safety specialists launched an investigation and are expected to give evidence when the coronial inquiry hearings begin.
On Tuesday it was proposed the inquest be held in two parts.
The first, which could occur in June or July, will investigate the construction, maintenance, safety, history and modifications made to the ride.
It will also examine the emergency services response and the training of Dreamworld staff.
The second part of the inquest will look at laws around theme park operations and whether changes need to be made and further safety measures introduced.
Another conference before the proposed hearings has been scheduled for May 25 at Southport.